Man charged with malicious wounding in Portsmouth woman’s death admits to biting her

Posted at 1:20 PM, Jun 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-05 19:45:25-04

David S Turner

Portsmouth, Va. - A Norfolk man has been charged with malicious wounding in the suspicious death of a Portsmouth woman. On Thursday,  he appeared in court.

79 year-old Betty Philbrick, a longtime Portsmouth resident and businesswoman, was discovered unresponsive on Monday just after 2:15pm by a family member. Philbrick was pronounced dead at the scene.

44-year-old David Spencer Turner of Norfolk has been charged with malicious wounding in her death.

Betty R. Philbrick

Police say that although detectives have made an arrest in connection with the case, they are continuing to classify this investigation as a suspicious death.  Once the official cause of death is determined by the Medical Examiners office, the case could be reclassified and additional charges could be filed.

Neighbors tell NewsChannel 3 the two had been dating and that he'd been living in her home for years.

Police say he admitted to biting Philbrick several times on the arm - then headbutting her in the face.

Turner remains in the custody of the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office on no bond.